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Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter

Tuesday, December 20, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

was my guest this evening. Radioblogger will have the transcript up later.” target=”_blank”>Radioblogger has the transcript up. It may, er, interest a few people. Like In from the Cold and RightWingNuthouse. (Example: Newsweek’s Alter thinks the exposure of Valerie Plame as a CIA employee is more serious than the NSA program leak.)


When you are done reading the transcript of the Alter interview, be sure to read Andrew McCarthy’s take down of all MSM speaking on the issue of the warrantless surveillance of al Qaeda communications with its American agents. It is an extraordinary piece, not just about basic ConLaw, but also about cluelessness in the MSM. This column is a reminder that a great deal of what MSM puts out on a daily basis is not just wrong, it is horribly and inexcusably wrong. It isn’t hard to get the correct information –CBS document “experts” notwithstanding– it is simply the refusal to have the agenda obstructed by reality.

And here’s another prosecutor on the same subject. The MSM must hate these bloggers who actually know what they are talking about. From XDA’s post on MSM spouters:

Most of them go wrong from the beginning– from the mistaken starting point that a warrantless search is an illegal search. Wrong! Silly, School-Boy’s Book of the Fourth Amendment level wrong.

My experience with FISA was as the AG’s Special Assistant in 1984-85, tasked to review the applications for surveillance authority before the AG signed them. I don’t and won’t talk much about that job even 20 years later because I don’t want to inadvertantly say or write something that I shouldn’t.

But I can say most of the commentary on the FISA “process” is risible, especially the assurances that it can be made to work on a dime and is ruthlessly efficient. All delivered by people who have never held a “secret” clearance, much less an SCI clearance, much less had any exposure whatsoever to the FISA process. Howard Dean’s statement earlier today comes to mind.

Alter’s faux certainty that no damage was done to the nation’s security by the New York Times’ story is one more exhibit in the MSM Musueum of Arrogance. He has no idea. He never will.

Over at my friend’s site —the Professor of the Vines is indeed a pal— there is a comment thread that includes such offerings as:

I think Hugh might be on board for a bit of martial law. Don’t knock it til you try it, especially if the President asks us to trust him. And all that good stuff


Wow. Hewlitt is crazy. I wonder whether he is being paid by republicans to simply agree with the President. Abramoff paid that guy from the Cato institute. I think Hewlitt should disclose whether he is being paid for his “opinions.”

I have to believe these are people of good faith who simply have no experience in the world, who simply have no idea what we are up against. It was the same way in the ’80s, when the nature of the Soviet Union was not understood by the left, and the Venona intercepts still a long way from being made public. They are not serious in that they will not allow their carefully constructed world views to be disturbed by reality, no matter how ghastly the reality that knocks at their front door. 9/11, Bali, Beslan, Madrid, Zarqawi etc –nothing matters to them except their own convictions about President Bush. The good news is that they are a minority of American voters. The bad news is that they can and do accomplish a great deal of injury to the national security, and that they appear to be the decisive voice in the Democratic Party at the close of 2005.

I really do wish for the renewal of the party of FDR, Truman and JFK. But it is a long way off, and until it occurs, this Democratic Party must be kept a long way from the control of the national security of the United States.


A FISA judge has quit. Says the Washington Post:

Robertson indicated privately to colleagues in recent conversations that he was concerned that information gained from warrantless NSA surveillance could have then been used to obtain FISA warrants.

When he resigns his lifetime seat in protest, I’ll be impressed. But pardon me if I think the drama here is a little like Senator Rockefeller’s Uriah Heep imitation. I wonder if he was reversed by In re Sealed Case. Here’s his bio. He’s a consistent opponent of the Bush Adminsitration’s policies in the GWOT. Think the Post might have mentioned that?

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